BOSTONFour consecutive road games, four wins by more than 20 points. A quick perusal of the records of the Bulls opponents during that stretchNew Jersey, New Orleans and Charlotte are clearly the dregs of the league, while Milwaukee is a playoff contender, but far from a formidable opponentmight make the aforementioned feat seem less impressive, but the level of focus needed to pull it off should be taken into consideration, especially when recalling a squad that sometimes let up in intensity in the past when charged with protecting a big lead.
It says that youre playing well, but again, it doesnt mean a lot other than we have to get ready for the next game, opined Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau. Overall, from the start of camp, I thought our teams attitude and approach to the season, to the games has been very good and I dont think it changes from game to game, and I think thats very important. Again, we dont want to look behind, we dont want to look ahead. We just want to stare at exactly whats in front of us.
Whatever challenges youre facing, thats what you have to deal with and for us, its been a heavy road schedule early, a lot of back-to-backs, so I think weve maximized the time weve had with shootarounds, film sessions, ballroom and thats why it comes back to having the right guys and right attitude, and approach. Because of how serious they are and the way theyve concentrated, I think it allows us to be prepared.
Carlos Boozer, who has been playing some of his best basketball of the season during the teams current five-game winning streak, agreed.
I just think weve gotten better. Were not the same team we were. I think weve improved. Guys have gotten great experience to help us out. When we go to our bench, we dont lose anything. The starting five does a great job of setting the tone and then the second unit, our Bench Mob comes in and takes it up even another notch. Me and Lu were just talking about it with Jo and I think were getting even better at what we do. We know what were trying to accomplish on both sides of the ball and were getting better at it, he said. Its a great accomplishment, but were playing for something much better than that.
Echoed Luol Deng: Thats good to hear. Thats a great accomplishment. Were just the type of guys, were just so focused on us that even though were winning by 20, we still see some things out there that we could still work on and thats just the type of group we are.
When asked to specify how exactly the Bulls, who have looked dominant even with superstar Derrick Rose either playing limited minutes or sidelined completely in three of those four contests, due to lower back spasms, the newly-minted All-Star answered:
Theres stuff defensively, where were making mistakes. Theres times offensively, where we could do a better job moving the ball, even though its moving great. Is it a lot of stuff? No, but its always going to be something. Were not going to be perfect out there. Im never going to sit here and tell you guys we played perfect. Its not going to happen.
Added Boozer: The Bulls can get better at everything, every area. We want to try to have more assists on offense, we want to try to get more rebounds on defense. Our goaland Coach Thibs will probably say this to you guys a million timesis to play a 48-minute game, a perfect game, which is impossible, but thats what we strive to do. Thats what keeps us going.
That line of thinking jibes with Joakim Noahs thought process.
It really doesnt mean anything. Just trying to get better. Were a work in progress, he said. On to the next one, Boston on Sunday. Big game, lets get it popping.